“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
— Steve Jobs, Stanford University, June 2005
In 2012, I was seriously considering becoming a full time investor.
I’ve always loved startups and venture capital, and I had been fortunate enough after leaving LinkedIn to have a chance to work for Greylock Partners, one of the most successful firms in the industry.
In May of 2012, my daughter was born. While on parental leave, I remember receiving a note about a Greylock company that was looking to add to its executive team. I had visited that company just the month before, to help advise on strategies for organizing and executing on viral growth.
The role itself wasn’t the right fit, but for some reason that company stuck in my head. Did I really want to become a full time investor? Or did I want to go help build a company?
As it turns out, the company that I couldn’t get out of my head was Dropbox.
Opportunity at Scale
Over my career, I’ve had the good fortune to work at three companies that grew to reach over 100 million users. After spending the past six years focused on building new companies, I’m excited about jumping back into the challenges of designing and shipping features for the more than 500 million people who use Dropbox to get things done.
With the proliferation of devices and ubiquitous connectivity of the modern workplace, I think there is a unique opportunity, right now, to help teams unleash their creative energy and find more enlightened ways of working together.
Drew has done a great job of sharing the high level vision for Dropbox, and I’m excited to dive into a space that has so much product potential. The era of walled gardens is over, and there has been an explosion of new applications and content types in the past few years. The challenge is to design an open ecosystem that helps bring all of those capabilities together in a way that doesn’t sacrifice simplicity in design.
Connecting the Dots
For now, I just want to say thank you John Lilly for reconnecting me to the Dropbox team, and thank you to Quentin, Drew, and the entire Dropbox team for this opportunity. It is truly amazing how life connects the dots.